Ryobi Zauber fishing reel review

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The Zauber is a well-known reel among anglers mainly because of two reasons. The one is that it was (and it is still) a very reliable reel with good mechanical features on a moderate price and the other is that it has lots of twin brothers, e.g.: called Trubertini Zauber, Spro Blue Arc/Red Arc, Penn Affinity and many more. All of them share the same mechanics and body with some cosmetic and brand title differences. But we look at the Ryobi Zauber as the original because Ryobi is the manufacturer.

Ryobi Zauber 2000
1. Ryobi Zauber 2000

If you search for Ryobi in the web, you will probably find Ryobi Group first but Ryobi Limited sold its fishing tackle business to another Japanese Company, Johshuya Co.,Ltd. on September 30, 2000. They have taken over the production, sales and after maintenance of the “RYOBI” brand fishing tackle. If we dig deeper we can find Ryobi International then we can see that their profile is exactly fishing tackle. In November 2008, JOHSHUYA company and WEIHAI RYOBI INTERNATIONAL TRADING CO., LTD reached an agreement that WEIHAI RYOBI INT’L was authorized to manufacture, sell and operate RYOBI fishing tackle products worldwide (excluding Japanese market). (source: http://www.ryobi-intl.com)

The Ryobi Zauber 2000

In this article, we will look inside one of them in size 2000. This reel was maintained after 5 years of usage which is quite a long time. It was bought in 2012. When the side plate was removed I found some dirty black colored grease on the gears, which is not unusual after such a long period without re-lubrication. But let’s take a closer look what’s inside.

Ryobi Zauber before maintanance
2. Ryobi Zauber – before maintanance

After washing the parts in benzinium from the pharmacy it can be seen how many dirt in the old grease is, which can be a cause of the parts wearing. It is always important to clean every part properly before applying new grease.

Zauber parts in benzinium bath
3. Ryobi Zauber – parts in benzinium bath

The main body and the side plate are both made of metal (high intensity aluminum). It can give the feeling of comfort and strength and some weight as well of course, but we will see the exact number of the grams in the end of the article.

Ryobi Zauber main body
4. Ryobi Zauber – main body

The worm shaft (5.1.) is supported with two bearings (5.2.) which is always a pleasure to see. The worm drive gear (5.3.) is responsible for the rotation, which is also made of metal. The metal plate support (5.4.) will retain the bearing in the main body with a screw.

In the second line, you can see another idle gear system which contains an idle gear (5.5.), a bush (5.6.) which goes to the main body to reduce friction, a shaft with an idle gear (5.7.) and a synthetic support (5.8.). The drive gear will drive the idle gear with the shaft (5.7.), and the metal idle gear (5.5.) will drive the worm shaft’s drive gear (5.3.).

Ryobi Zauber worm shaft
5. Ryobi Zauber – worm shaft

The bushing is placed in the main body (6.1.), where the two idle gears take place. The synthetic support (6.2.) holds it in place, which is fixed with a screw. Drive gear ball bearing (6.3.) and worm shaft (6.4.) are inserted in the main body.

Ryobi Zauber – drive gear bearing, worm shaft
6. Ryobi Zauber – drive gear bearing, worm shaft

In the first line, you can see the main shaft assembly. The oscillator (7.1.) is connecting to the high-grade anti-corrosive stainless steel main shaft (7.2.) with a screw. The oscillating pawl (or claw) (7.3.) is supported with a collar (7.4.) and a washer (7.5.). The worm shaft retainer (7.6.) will close the oscillator.

In the second line, there is the pinion gear (7.7.) with a synthetic collar (7.8.). I really miss a ball bearing instead of the collar. The ball bearing somehow sneaked in the picture, the next part on the pinion gear is the inner ring (7.9.).

Ryobi Zauber 2000 - main shaft and pinion gear
7. Ryobi Zauber – main shaft and pinion gear

When the pinion gear and the oscillator with the main shaft are in their places, the next part to insert is the main gear. If you take a closer look at the oscillator you will see that there is no oscillating guide or ball bearing . A channel is formed in the body to ensure its movement. Ryobi Applause which is a more affordable brother of the Zauber, has oscillating gear with an oscillator guide shaft.

Ryobi Zauber - main shaft installed
8. Ryobi Zauber – main shaft installed

The anti-reverse lever (9.1.) is simple and effective. The anti-reverse cam (9.2.) is attached with a screw, and an anti- reverse spring (9.3.) is responsible for leaving the lever in the chosen position.

Ryobi Zauber - anti-reverse lever
9. Ryobi Zauber – anti-reverse lever

The drive gear (10.1.) has a removable gear (10.2.). This gear will drive the small idle gear (5.7.) mentioned before. On both side washers and shielded bearings will place in the main body and the side cover. The teeth of the drive showed no wear, despite of this reel was used for asp fishing with metal blades, and other lipless baits and the owner caught even several catfish with it.

Ryobi Zauber - drive gear
10. Ryobi Zauber – drive gear

Almost everything is in its place. The anti-reverse spring is also snapped in the main body. Ready to install the drive gear.

Ryobi Zauber – anti-reverse lever and spring
11. Ryobi Zauber – anti-reverse lever and spring

Drive gear lubricated with some grease. That amount is more than enough, the gears will push out the unnecessary grease.

Ryobi Zauber - lubed main gear
12. Ryobi Zauber – lubed main gear

The drive gear is in its place where you can see some grease on the surface. It is not necessary but I usually make a very thin coat on it as an anti-rust layer. Of course, it shouldn’t get rusted with or without it.

Ryobi Zauber – drive gear installed
13. Ryobi Zauber – drive gear installed

Now the side plate attached with the screws so I can show you the metal plate support. It is a little different from what you can see in other brands reels. It holds just the outer ring of the worm shafts bearing and just on its half circle. It holds the bearing in place perfectly and no washer is needed between the bearing and the plate. I really like this solution.

Ryobi Zauber - worm shaft bearing plate support
14. Ryobi Zauber – worm shaft bearing plate support

On the next picture, you can see the parts of the anti-reverse system. The ball bearing collar (15.1.) is the place of the ball bearing, which supports the pinion gear. Eight rollers (15.2.) go to the synthetic holder (15.3.), which goes to the metal outer ring (15.4.). If you turn on or off the anti-revers lever the one-way clutch spring on a pin (15.5.) will turn back the holder in the outer ring. Works perfect, I have never seen an issue with it, just do not forget that no grease allowed here. The rollers will be stuck in the holder and the anti-reverse system won’t work properly.

Ryobi Zauber - anti-reverse roller bearing
15. Ryobi Zauber – anti-reverse roller bearing

If you put the anti-reverse system’s parts to their place a bearing support plate will close this part with three screws.

Ryobi Zauber - support plate
16. Ryobi Zauber – support plate

Under the rotor there is a synthetic kick cam (17.1.) and a plastic control plate (17.2.), fixed with a screw.

Ryobi Zauber - kick cam, control plate
17. Ryobi Zauber – kick cam, control plate

The next part is the handle assembly which made me a surprise in this particular reel. There is a plastic knob cap (18.1.) in the handle. If you remove it you will find the screw which holds the rubber knob (18.2.). It was supported with one bushing (18.3.) and one bearing (18.4.). Other Zauber reels, I have seen before, were a little bit different. If you drag forward you will see. Of course, I took the opportunity to replace the bushing with a second bearing.

Ryobi Zauber – handle assembly
18. Ryobi Zauber – handle assembly

And this is the typical Zauber handle. There is only one bearing in the knob’s outer side, in the inner side there is a bushing (red square) formed on the handle knob shaft. It is not possible to add a second bearing and it is recommended to lubricate this bushing with some water-repellent grease. There are two washers also on the handle shaft.

Ryobi Zauber - handle with one bearing
19. Ryobi Zauber – handle with one bearing

The rotor (20.1.) and the bail arm (20.2.) is also aluminum. The two bail covers (20.3) are fixed with two screws. You will find these in the inside of the rotor.

Ryobi Zauber - rotor, bail arm
20. Ryobi Zauber – rotor, bail arm

And if we talk about the bail arm, I have to mention a frequent problem with it. In front of the line roller there is small bail guide on the bail arm which usually breaks. It does not have a big effect on operation but who are the ones that like finding broken parts in his/her reel? This problem also happens to the Ryobi Applause.

Ryobi Zauber - broken bail guide
21. Ryobi Zauber – broken bail guide

The bail mechanism is very simple. A screw (22.1.) holds the bail spring (22.2.) in place. This is very useful. If you remove the bail cover, you do not have to worry about the popping out spring. In the spring, there is a synthetic slider (22.3) which will hold the bail spring guide. The kick lever (22.4.), and the bores on both sides should be lubed with some grease. The bail guide will be fixed with an e-ring on this side, and with a screw on the other.

Ryobi Zauber - bail arm
22. Ryobi Zauber – bail arm

The line roller contains a roller (23.1.), a shielded ball bearing (23.2.) and a roller holder (23.3.). A long screw will fix these in the bail arm assembly. If you see the exploited view of the reel you will find a washer (part number 29) before the roller. This is sometimes fixed in the bail arm.

Ryobi Zauber - line roller
23. Ryobi Zauber – line roller

The handle is attached with the handle screw which is under the handle cap. Sometimes it gets loose so it is recommended to check it if you hear some noise in the reel. Most of the time this might be the cause.

The metal cover protects the ball bearing of the worm shaft. On this picture, you can also see how over-sized the line roller and its holder are. On the next Zauber models these are redesigned from the half-closed design to a more traditional look.

Ryobi Zauber - handle screw
24. Ryobi Zauber – handle screw

On the main shaft, there are the metal spool washer (25.1.) the clicker (25.2.) and another washer (25.3.) a synthetic one this time. The clicker will give the clicking sound when the fish pulls the line from the spool.

The click claw is attached in the inside of the spool. The rotor is attached with a hexagonal nut (25.4.) which is fixed with a simple screw. Note that there is no sealing at the pinion and the shaft. If you are a freshwater angler you can live with it, but these reels should have maintained more often.

Ryobi Zauber - rotor, washers
25. Ryobi Zauber – rotor, washers

The spool is supported with a bearing (26.1) which is fixed with a stopper spring (drag washer retainer) (26.2.). In size 1000 and 2000 there is only one felt washer (26.3.). It makes the drag power which is 2.5 kg maximum.

When you set the drag power it gives a clicking sound. The click plate assembly is responsible for this sound. There is a small bush with a spring (26.4.) in a plastic plate (26.5.) which is clicking while moving it between the teeth of the metal plate (26.6.). The plate and the ring is attached with a simple wire ring (26.7.). The click plate assembly is also works as a drag washer.

If you put the washers and the click plate into the spool a stopper spring (26.8.) will hold it in place. The final part of the spool is the drag knob (26.9.) which has a rubber seal to prevent the drag from dust and water.

Ryobi Zauber - spool and drag is size 2000
26. Ryobi Zauber – spool and drag is size 2000

Zauber 3000 and 4000 models are equipped with three felt washers (27.1.) and two drag washers (27.2.) which gives 5 kg drag power maximum.

Zauber - spool and drag in size 3000 / 4000
27. Ryobi Zauber – spool and drag in size 3000 / 4000

As mentioned before aluminum frame and metal parts give strength and some weight in the same time. The Zauber 2000 weighs nearly 286 grams spooled. The factory data is 280 grams. This is not a light reel in its size but it has metal body and weight is not everything.

Ryobi Zauber 2000 - weight
28. Ryobi Zauber 2000 – weight

Zauber 2000 summary

Zauber is made with 8 shielded ball bearing in the mechanism and one roller bearing which is responsible for the instant anti reverse. Let see where are the ball bearings and what are their exact size.

Spool: 1 bearing, size 4×7×2.5 mm

Line roller: 1 bearing, size 4×7×2.5 mm

Pinion gear: 1 bearing, size 7×14×5 mm and a synthetic collar

Worm shaft: 2 bearing, size 3×6×2.5 mm

Main drive gear: 2 bearings, left side 7×14×5 mm, right side 7×11×3 mm

Handle: normally 1 bearing, size 4×7×2.5 and an extra bushing in this exact reel which I changed to another bearing.

Techniqal features used in Zauber reels:

  • Full aluminum alloy metal body
  • Rotary Flat Oscillation System
  • Machined aluminum spool
  • Machined aluminum power handle with Soft Touch rubber knob
  • Air Bail Arm
  • Anti Twist line roller
  • V-Shaped Rotor Arm
  • V-Shaped Large Spool
Ryobi Zauber - designed and engineered in Japan... place of origin is China
29. Ryobi Zauber – designed and engineered in Japan… place of origin is China

The first series Zauber is a reel that is worth a look if minimal weight is not your preference and you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a reel. If you compare its price to other manufacturers’ offers you will see that Ryobi reels has many great technical features on a favorable price with minimal compromises. Lots of anglers have been using their Zauber for 5 years or more and they are satisfied with it. Due to the lack of sealing on the main shaft / pinion gear it must be re-lubricated regularly. Due to the metal gears, it will be noisier if the grease is getting old or disappears from its surface. Don’t wait too long to get it maintained take care of it properly and it will be a long-lasting, reliable reel for you. This series is still available but there are new ones also like the Zauber CF and Zauber Pro.

Thanks for reading my article. If you have any question or comment please feel free to contact me.

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